December 13, 2017
One of the sessions at last week’s Senscot conference focused on business failure. The frank, and at times highly personal accounts of how hard it can be to keep a small social enterprise afloat were powerful. The importance of cash flow was a recurring theme. Someone proposed that some kind of collectively owned fund should be established to offer relief from these short term financial pressures. Hey presto – Pauline Hinchion at Scottish Community Finance Ltd has been working on an idea that might just hold the answer.
SCF Ltd focus is to assist communities (both place based and thematic) all across Scotland to be more viable and vibrant. We believe that by encouraging ordinary people to reinvest back into their communities, by pooling their available financial resources and lending it to community businesses and social enterprises, that communities will be more sustainable.
We do that by working the ‘community partners’ to issue Community Bonds that can be purchased by individuals and organisations and using that money to establish bespoke, individual Community Loan Funds.
Purchasing Community Bonds is about making an investment in your local community. Becoming a Community Investor shows your support for your community and by doing so encourages regeneration, local job creation, vibrant local facilities and a diverse economy.
Community Loan Funds offer micro, unsecured and affordable finance to social and community enterprises that provide goods and services to communities often where there is market failure. These services and products are essential for ensuring resilient and vibrant communities, but unfortunately these businesses are increasingly unable to obtain the finance they need from mainstream banks and other lending institutions.